USA TODAY US Edition
Biden critical of Texas, Miss. over masks
President Joe Biden on Wednesday said it’s a “big mistake” for states to lift pandemic restrictions, calling it a result of “Neanderthal thinking.”
Biden said it’s important to listen to the recommendations of scientists, especially as the nation is on the cusp of turning things around with vaccines. “The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that, ‘In the meantime, everyone’s fine, take off your mask,’ ” he said. “Forget it. It still matters.”
His comments came the day after the GOP governors of Texas and Mississippi said they’re lifting COVID-19 restrictions, including mask mandates. White House officials are emphasizing that people can still follow the federal guidelines on their own.
“Every individual is empowered to do the right thing here, regardless of what the states decide for personal health, for public health, for their health of their loved ones and communities,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday. “I would still encourage individuals to wear masks, to socially distance, and to do the right thing to protect their own health.”